The Arizona Cardinals have long been known as “Pittsburgh West,” the Tennessee Titans have made a play to call themselves “Pittsburgh South” and the Buffalo Bills could arguably be called, “Pittsburgh North East.”
- IS it time to start calling the New York City Pittsburgh on the Hudson?
The #Giants Are Signing Former #Steelers FB, Will Johnson! pic.twitter.com/7pLyLdLfBV
— New York Giants (@EverythingNYG) April 4, 2016
That may be a little premature, but today’s free agency news saw the New York Giants sign Will Johnson, Steelers hybrid fullback and tight end. This comes on the heels of the New York Jets decision to sign Steve McLendon. Former Steelers offensive lineman Willie Colon signed with the New York Jets in 2013 after being cut by the Steelers and played there in 2014 and 2015, although he remains a free agent.
Will Johnson caught the Pittsburgh Steelers eye at a West Virginia Pro Day after he’d been out of football for a year. The Steelers signed Johnson as an undrafted rookie free agent, but went into training camp thinking that David Johnson would be making the transition to full time fullback under Todd Haley’s first season as offensive coordinator.
- Unfortunately, David Johnson tore his ACL, and Will Johnson spent the next three seasons at fullback.
Will Johnson’s role with the Steelers began to evolve in 2015, as Roosevelt Nix’s emergence allowed the Steelers to use Johnson as a tight end, although he did serve as a short yardage back in relief of DeAngelo Williams while Le’Veon Bell was suspended.
Normally, Will Johnson is the type of free agent the Steelers want to keep, but Roosevelt Nix, a converted defensive lineman, did quite well at fullback this season, making Will Johnson expendable.
Terms of Will Johnson’s contract are not currently available, but it does run for two years, binding him to the team until 2017.
Free agency go your head spinning? Check out our Steelers 2016 free agent tracker and/or click here to read all articles on our Steelers 2016 Free Agent Focus section.